International credit ratings agency Standards and Poors (S&P) has lowered its Long Term Sovereign Credit Ratings for Trinidad and Tobago to BBB+ (plus) from A- (minus), but has maintained the country’s economic outlook as stable.

S&P in its ratings announcement said the change was based on the country’s higher debt burden.

It added that at the same time it was affirming its “A-2” short term sovereign credit ratings and lowering its transfer and convertibility assessment to ‘A’ from ‘AA-’.

In making the changes, S&P said the country’s debt burden increased sharply since 2014, amid the economic recession and while the government introduced austerity measures to reduce fiscal imbalances, it expects budget consolidation to be slower than initially anticipated and interest costs to be higher.

In a report issued on Saturday, the agency said that maintaining its stable outlook reflected its expectation that the local economy will recover modestly in 2017 – 2020 based on higher natural gas prices and production, supporting deficit reduction and the stabilization of the debt burden.



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